He was talking at a meeting organized by Swastava Cancer Care, in association with Society for Cancer in Oral-cavity Prevention through Education (SCOPE) and Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day at Press Club in Somajiguda.
The minister said that the diseases caused due to smoking and chewing tobacco will not only affect the family, but also the entire society. While the tobacco usage in the country in about 25%, the city has nearly 17%, as per the latest study, he said. There are two things that need to be done for the state to be hale and health. First, the government has to make use of the existing laws and if needed make new laws to curb tobacco. Second is the awareness among people about the health effects of smoking and chewing tobacco, the minister said. More than the government, it is the NGOs and the social activists who can help in bringing awareness in people about the dangers of using tobacco, he said.
The government has already taken steps to crack down on Gutka and drugs, Rajender said. Tobacco use is also becoming rampant among college students and there is a necessity to curb tobacco in those places. The parents and family elders also have to make sure that they inculcate good habits in their children, the minister said. Cancer patients end up spending a lot of money for their treatment. Their families also suffer both financially and mentally, said Vasu Chaturvedi, founder of Swastava Cancer Care. Dr Chandrakanth of SCOPE said that about 14,000 people are dying every day due to tobacco use in the country. He requested the minister to initiate a programme like 'KantiVelugu.' Senior journalist K Ramachandra Murthy also participated in the event.
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